Wangechi Mutu, A Promise to Communicate, 2017. Installation view, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2017. Photo by Charles Mayer Photography. © Wangechi Mutu
Artist Wangechi Mutu (b. 1972, Nairobi, Kenya) is known for her self-proclaimed “maximalist aesthetic,” hybrid compositions, and wall-based works that add texture and dimension to architectural spaces. Feminism, Afrofuturism, displacement, and marginal spaces figure in her category-defying collage and sculpture work.
In a new commission for the ICA, Mutu will use the rough, gray rescue blankets of humanitarian aid efforts and emergencies to create a less rational interpretation of the world map. Titled A Promise to Communicate, the work will also create a space for visitors to explore ideas of public space, communication, and free speech, addressing the idea of a world that despite its increasing potential for collectivity struggles to communicate in a comprehensive way.